MILWAUKEE – A former Wisconsin police officer accused of killing women from Oregon woman and Minnesota and ditching their two bodies in suitcases along a highway is set to stand trial this week in the first woman's death.
Steven Zelich (ZEHL'-ich) is charged with first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse in the 2012 death of 19-year-old Jenny Gamez, of Cottage Grove, Oregon. The 54-year-old also is also charged with murder in Minnesota in the 2013 killing of 37-year-old Laura Simonson. That case is on hold pending the conclusion of the Wisconsin cases.
Jury selection starts Monday in Gamez's death. The judge has allowed prosecutors to tell jurors about both women's deaths.
According to court records, Zelich admitted to killing the women during rough sex but claimed it was accidental.